MICROBIOLOGY AND HUMAN GENETICS
WITHIN THE QUR'AN
 
An age old misleading translation of a verse on the subject of Human Genetics which was based upon superstitions of pre-Islamic times, is revised in light of the scientific data.
 
"For every (revealed) tiding there is a term set for its fulfillment
 and in time you will come to know (its secret)." Qur'an 6: 67.
Human Embryology:
 
For over a period of last three decades or more, several articles have been placed on the Internet for the study of embryonic development of a Human body during the pregnancy, describing the stage by stage progress and comparing that with the verses of the Qur'an. Critics may argue that during the Greco-Roman civilization, which flourished prior to the revelation of the Qur'an, the physicians practicing the art of healing the human bodies used to perform surgical operations upon the dead bodies and make sketches. And, the deaths of women in pregnancies or miscarriages were not uncommon. It is likely that they had acquired the similar knowledge prior to the seventh century. No doubts, Jews were not permitted to examine the dead bodies by their strict laws but the vast majority of the Gentile communities, living in close proximity to Arabian peninsula had no such restrictions.
 
Science of Microbiology:
 
The science of microbiology was originally directed towards the study of microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, and fungi) and their effects on human bodies (diseases and decays). During the last century, that study of microorganisms has been shifted to their effects on human physiology and biochemistry. And, very lately it has been directed to the science of Human Genetics and Genome. The word "genome" is a combination of the words "gene" and "chromosome". By mapping and reading Genetic Codes of various organisms researchers have discovered that there is a genetic "unity of life" upon this earth. All living organisms on this Earth do share certain molecular traits from that distant ancestral life form. Because all microorganisms are related through similarities in DNA sequences, insights gained from non-human genomes often lead to new knowledge about human biology. Any living organism too small to be seen by the naked eye is defined as the microorganism.     
 
The Generations Gap of Mankind's Vocabulary
 
One has to appreciate the fact that the Qur'an was revealed to mankind using the words and expressions that existed in the mankind's vocabulary of the seventh century C.E. (A.D.) Hence, every secret that was yet to unfold was delivered to mankind by the All Knowing Allah in the words and expressions of that era. However the sublime choice of Arabic words have been such that when the hidden secrets do become manifest at a later date that they could be related to the vocabulary of the future generations. Today, when the generation gap of our vocabulary has been closed, the same Arabic words and phrases holding the secrets convey to us a totally different picture. However, the translators of the past era had no clue at all as to the intended meanings of the Arabic terms and phrases. Unfortunately, they borrowed the pre-Islamic traditional beliefs and superstitions to translate the hidden secrets of the Revealed Text as it was done in this specific case. For the source of the picture copied below, click *home* at the end of the black bar below:

 

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A Primer: From DNA to Life

 
The Arabic Text of the Qur'an under study:
Surah Zumar (Chapter 39), Verse 6:
 
The scholars confirm that the Arabic text that is printed today is no different from the original Arabic text that was codified and circulated by the third Caliph in 654 C. E. 
 
 
 
Here is the translation based upon the pre-Islamic superstition:
He created you (all) from a single person: then created, of like nature,
his mate; and He sent down for you eight head of cattle in pairs: He
makes you, in the wombs of your mothers, in stages, one after another,
in three veils of darkness. Such is Allah, your Lord and Cherisher: to
Him belongs (all) dominion. There is no god but He: then how are ye
turned away (from your true Center)?
 
The above translation (including the text within the parenthesis) was first published in 1938 from Lahore, India (now Pakistan) by the late Abdullah Yusuf Ali. In his commentary to the above verse (foot note No. 4250), the translator affirms that the four pairs of cattle, viz., sheep, goats, camels and oxen mentioned by him in his translation are associated "with certain Arab superstitions". He continues to write; these four kinds of cattle were then regarded "as representative of domestic cattle given by Allah as useful to man". Upon examination it is noticed that not only Yusuf Ali but the majority of the translators have copied their works from earlier translations upholding the same pre-Islamic superstition. Upon closer scrutiny one notices the fact that the text immediately following this "superstition" is not only out of step but is beyond common sense and logic. Allah could not have revealed that He had sent or provided the pairs of sheep, goats, camels and oxen within a message concerning "in the wombs of mothers, in stages, one after another".  
 
Color Codes:
 
The texts in BLUE PRINTS are the phrase by phrase transliterations of the ARABIC TEXT.
The texts in GREEN PRINTS are the phrase by phrase translations presented by Yusuf Ali.
The texts in RED PRINTS are the REVISED translations in light of the known scientific data.
The texts in BLACK PRINTS are the notes to exemplify the scientific terms and data.
khalaqa kum
He created you (all)
Question posed at the end of this verse demands that the readers of this verse pay special attention to the Message of this verse which unfolds the secrets of "your own creation".  

 

min nafsin' wahidatin
from a single cell
In Arabic language there are no reflective personal pronouns, their place is partly supplied by the word "nafs" (a feminine noun, singular). It denotes soul; life; spirit; breath; will; self; an individual, a human being; a living organism, etc. Since this verse deals with the issue of human conceptions within the womb of their mothers, nafs denotes, a living cell - an organism. The word "nafs" is followed by "wahidatin" meaning; one only; single; by itself and that means your creation is "from a single cell". Scientifically the human cell - the basic unit, is a watery, compartment filled with chemicals and has a complete copy of the organism's genome.
 
thumma ja'ala minha zawjaha
then created, of like nature, its mate
The word "zawj" means, wife; husband; spouse; companion; one of a pair; consort, mate. The creation of a "mate, of like nature" is a reference to the close pairing of homologs at meiosis. Biologically it is termed as Synapsis, meaning the side by genetic association of homologous maternal chromosomes and paternal paired chromosomes in the early stages of conception. Chromosome is a microscopic thread-like bundle that carries the genes and other DNA in the nucleus of a cell. Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes, i.e., 46 in all. Half of these chromosomes come from their mothers and the other half from their fathers.
 
wa 'anzala lakum minal 'an-ami thama-niyata 'azwaj;
and He provided for you eight genes, in pairs
The verb "anzala" means; to cause to descend; to provide. The collective noun "an'am"  is used for living creatures. Here it refers to the life bearing Genes. The phrase "thama-niyata 'azwaj" means "eight-in-pairs". This is the reference to the Two Strands of DNA that are held together between the "Base Pair (bp)". Each strand has the GENETIC CODE (ATGC - Adenine, Thymine, Guanine and Cytosine). They makeup the bases of DNA. The instructions in a gene tells the cell how to make a specific protein. Each gene's code combines these As, Ts, Gs and Cs in various ways to spell out the 3-letter "words" that specify which amino acid is needed at every step in making a protein. The final structural arrangement of DNA looks like an immensely long ladder with two sides, twisted into a helix, or coil joined weakly in the middle by the "rungs". It is called the "double helix". Briefly, the two pairs of Genetic Codes (ATGC) are strategically provided within the wombs of our mothers to make the body parts.  
yakhluqu kum fee butouni 'ummahati kum
He makes you, in the wombs of your mothers,
 
khalqam-mim ba'di khalqin
in creations, one after another,
This is a direct reference to the scientific term "DNA Replication". It is the natures greatest marvel. This is a process by which the "double helix" of DNA unwinds (uncoils) and makes an exact copy of itself. And, thereafter these TWO "double helix" make TWO replicas. The multiplication keeps going. Due to this process of "creation after creation", a human child that starts from a single cell has more than 200 billion cells and has all the body parts necessary for life, within a period of nine months. Can one imagine that the original single cell that was so tiny that it could be lost in a hole made by a pin became our Replica?
 
fee zulumatin thalath.
in three layers of darkness.
The germ layers begin to form quite early in human embryonic development. The outermost layers is called the ectoderm. The innermost layer is the endoderm. Between these two germ layers lies the mesoderm. At first these three germ layers are more or less uniform. Soon they begin to take different characteristics. In each layers of embryo, tissues and organs begin to take shape. Every adult organ is identified with one of these three germ layers of darkness.  
 
Zaliku-mu-LLahu Rabbu kum
Such is Allah, your Lord and Cherisher:
 
la-hul-mulk.
to Him belongs (all) dominion.
 
La 'ilaha 'illa Hou.
There is no god but He
 
Fa-'anna tusrafoun?
then how are you deluded?
Deluded from the reality of your own creation (after having known these hidden facts)?
 
Sources for the scientific information:
National Human Genome Research Institution
The Human Genome Project websites
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Another 7th century secret that has been uncovered...

"HE IS LORD OF THE TWO EASTS AND THE LORD OF THE TWO WESTS"
Qur'an 55: 17

 

During the seventh century, MANKIND knew and believed our planet earth to be flat...
Today, the space travel has confirmed without any doubt, that our planet is like a globe and is surrounded by many planets and galaxies. Inter planetary travel is a viability. When that happens, our concept of going East or West may include the East and the West of Universe.
 
THINK... DID NOT THE AUTHOR OF THE QUR'AN TELL US THAT HE IS THE LORD OF THIS EARTH AS WELL AS OF THAT UNIVERSE ?
 
One more 7th century secret that has been uncovered...
 
"Verily, verily they shall soon (come to) know! Have We not made the earth as a wide expanse. And the mountains as (it's) pegs? Qur'an 78: 5/6/7
 
Mankind's knowledge of "CRATONS" is very recent and not common. It is so uncommon that the spell-check of this Microsoft FrontPage has not listed it. What is a craton? "A craton is an old and stable part of the continental crust that has survived the merging and splitting of continents and supercontinents for at least 500 million years. Cratons are generally found in the interiors of continents and are formed of a crust of lightweight felsic igneous rock such as granite attached to a section of the upper mantle. A craton may extend to depth of 200 km." (Quoted text from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craton). Cratons, which occupy the greater part of every continent, have subdued topographies and lie close to sea level. Sometime the craton is referred to as the nucleus of a continent. (Source: Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia 1999). Some of these rocks that form the Cratons are older than 2.5 billion years and are shaped like the base of a large diamond, shaped and cut to set in a ring. These Cratons hold the continental plates and go deep in the sea. What better word there could be, from the vocabulary of the seventh century, to describe these continents holding peg shaped cratons than the "tent pegs", in the language of the tent-dwellers?
 

 

ONCE IT IS CONVINCINGLY ESTABLISHED THAT THE SEVENTH CENTURY QUR'AN
HAS INDEED THE KNOWLEDGE, FOURTEEN CENTURIES AHEAD OF ITS TIME,
THAT FACT BY ITSELF IS A CONVINCING PROOF AND ANSWER TO
WHO COULD BE ITS AUTHOR?

An Addition:
Recently, a surfer asked me to furnish a comprehensive information on Genes. Below is my response. Sources: The Internet websites of biochem and national institutes of health.
Genes are pieces of DNA, and most genes contain the information for making a specific protein. There are many discussions between biologists to find a comprehensive definition of a gene, which is not easy, if possible at all. Structurally, gene is a basic functional and physical unit of hereditary material passed from parent to offspring. An ordered sequence of nucleotide bases that encodes a product (this product could be just RNA like rRNA or finally coding for a protein). The specific place on a chromosome where a gene is located is called "gene locus". The chromosome that carries the gene is located in the nucleus of a live cell.